Tiny Sugar Packets of Evil is asking about nicknames today. Since she asked…
I’ve had four nicknames that I can remember off the top of my head.
My first and earliest came about before I was even born. Since mom and dad didn’t really know what I was going to be (in fact, if I remember correctly, mom was absolutely convinced that she was going to have a dark haired little daughter, and even the dream of having a red headed boy didn’t convince her until I actually showed up), they referred to me as “The Kid”, or “TK”. When my brother was on the way, he became “TK-2”.
When I was a young kid, mom nicknamed me “Punkin”. I can’t come up with any funny or cute stories about that one, though, sorry. ;)
In fourth grade, I met Royce. His family had nicknames for each of the kids: Royce was “Trooper”, his little brother Corey was “Packey”, his little sister Haley was…my lord, I can’t remember anymore…, and I ended up being dubbed “Pokey”, thanks to my tendency to be abysmally slow about getting anywhere. I dawdled constantly — not to be difficult or anything, it’s just that there was so much cool stuff everywhere! My parents used to joke that I was always late to school (a three block walk from home) because I had to examine every snowflake to be sure that they were all really different.
My last, and most long-lasting nickname, was also given to me by Royce’s family. At one point, Royce’s dad remarked that I looked like “a young Woody Allen” (here’s a picture, judge for yourself), and he started calling me “Little Woody”.
In high school, I was getting more and more fed up with the fact that, as Michael is the most popular name for males in my age group, there was at least one other Michael in almost every class I was in. In my Yearbook class, there were two Michaels, and we (along with some of the other non-Michaels) all decided that it was time to adopt nicknames to differentiate ourselves. The other Michael became “Milo”, my friend Jason became “Spanky”, Mark became “Stiffy” (his last name is Stiffler), and, while I thought that “Little Woody” would raise a few too many eyebrows — especially in high school — I started using “Woody”.
And yeah — Spanky, Stiffy, and Woody. We also had a friend named Rod. We figured that all we needed was a Richard, and we’d have the whole set. But anyway…
So I started using Woody. As time went on, I used Woody more and more often, and Michael (or Mike) less and less. I was going through a lot of personal, introspective changes at the time (in many ways, discovering that I actually had a personality of my own), and in some ways, Woody became almost an entirely separate persona from Mike/Michael — to the point where it sometimes felt almost like something of a self-induced schizophrenia. It wasn’t long at all until I was using Woody exclusively, and it was only my family or very old friends who called me Michael.
Over the years, Woody itself picked up a few nicknames — Woodstock, Woodorama, Woodster, etc. At one point, Royce was joking around and gave it the pseudo-German spelling of Wüdi, which ended up coming in handy once I hit the ‘net. While Woody isn’t an incredibly common name, it was common enough that an internet search would come up with quite a few others (not least of which was Woody Allen), but I’ve yet to find another ‘Wudi’ on the net (aside from Wudi county in China, at least).
Over the past few years, though, I’ve finally gotten around to using Michael again. It started a few years back with my friend Miranda, who decided that she liked that better than Woody. That started getting me used to hearing my name from people other than old friends and family, and as time has gone by, I’ve been using Woody less and less. It will live on through djwudi.com and my DJ Wüdi propaganda, but as a nickname, it definitely seems to finally be on its way out.